This post about how I healed my leaky gut, IBS, and digestive problems in just 2 months, and my hopes are that it can help YOU heal yours as well!
If you’ve struggled with anything like the myriad of digestive issues I have, you can understand the immense amount of frustration associated with it.
You are probably annoyed, confused, or even completely disheartened by your digestive problem woes.
I feel you.
Many of you will be in the exact same spot I was just a few months ago.
Where My Gut Health Started
Everyone’s gut problems are a little different, and I imagine no two problems are the same.
We are a bunch of special, constipated (or worse) snowflakes, if you will. =)
There are quite a few conditions today that are centered around gut imbalances including:
- Leaky Gut
And it’s common to hear that people have more than one of the issues listed. I myself suffered with a mix of leaky gut and IBS.
This may be a little TMI for some of you, but I want to share some of my personal symptoms and issues with you so you know where I am coming from.
- Flare-ups that would cause crippling stomach cramps
- 2-3 Day downtime once inflamed (my stomach cramps were unbearable and left me in the fetal position on the bed for hours at a time).
- Immune system SUCKED (got sick often, and one of the things I learned is that this is often connected to gut health)
- Couldn’t eat “healthy” foods – Pretty frustrating but anything that had fiber in it (veggies included) could set my IBS off. I had to be very careful with my quantities and servings, but often just avoided these “healthy” foods altogether.
- Occasional heartburn
It was a cocktail of digestive issues worthy of an episode of House.
These issues persisted and progressed the older I got. It started with small problems when I was younger and grew into crippling flare-ups that left me bedridden for 2-3 days at a time.
As the problems got worse, I started getting more and more serious about fixing the problem. Especially when these two things happened…
1. I got very sick in Nicaragua.
There’s nothing like a night in a rural and dirty third world hospital at 3 am to wake you up.
I’m not suggesting all sickness is gut-related, but since 80% of your immune system is in your gut, there is a usually a VERY strong correlation.
2. I started to experience some hair loss.
The hair loss was actually the straw that broke the camel’s back.
As a guy of 27 years of age, I didn’t want to look like the Michelin man before my 30th birthday. I decided that it was time to actually fix these problems and take them more seriously.
And if you’re suffering from gut issues like I was, I want you to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel…
Where I Am Today
- I have not had a flare-up or gut-related issue in months.
- I can eat all the fiber I possibly want without any problems.
- My immune system is better than ever!
- I’m feeling so much more confident about my gut health and what I am eating.
It may seem silly, but healing my gut has given me more confidence than ever before.
And now I’m going to guide you through the process that I took to heal it…
The following is my stupidly simple 5-step gut-healing formula that actually works!
1. Cut out all processed foods, sugars, and inflammatory foods for at least 1 month.
There is a lot of debate out there about FODMAPS, carbohydrates, etc. It can make your head explode if you read too many articles with so much contradicting evidence.
The problem is, if you read too much, you start to second guess every little thing you eat and become completely neurotic in the process.
I decided to approach it differently.
Cut out the most obvious offenders and relax about all the rest.
The most obvious culprits of poor gut health are:
- Processed Foods
Yes, we can get into a debate about grains, phytates, and other minutiae, but why not just eliminate the most obvious offenders and see if you get better?
That made a lot more sense to me that using some theoretical diet based on a lot of scientific stretching.
2. Go low-calorie.
You know all that talk about foods that lower or raise inflammation?
Every meal you eat triggers inflammation (1).
Yes, some foods raise inflammation more than others, but just know that every bite will contribute to some amount of inflammation. There is no avoiding it.
Since one of the main goals with healing any gut issue is to reduce inflammation – eating fewer meals seems like intuitively good advice.
I went low calorie, AND I grouped my meals into 3 large meals with no snacks.
This way, after each meal, I am giving my body a chance to come down from the inflammation high and level out.
3. Slowly introduce veggies and a probiotic.
I think we all understand by now the foods we SHOULD be eating:
- Dark leafy greens
- High-quality protein
- High-quality fats
- Complex carbohydrates (depending on the person)
So, the goal should be to get in as many of these foods as possible (especially the leafy greens) and minimize all the rest.
In my case, high-fiber foods (especially dark leafy greens) would trigger my IBS. And once it was set off, it would need at least 3 days to come down (ZERO fiber for those 3 days to get my system back on track).
So, I slow-rolled the process.
Every day, I would slowly introduce a little more greens into my diet along with a probiotic.
I started with just a few greens every day and then progressed into taking a daily probiotic.
Because when repopulating the good bacteria in your gut, you need food that bacteria can survive off of – leafy greens especially.
During this process, I would track how much I ate and how my gut felt. If I could feel any discomfort in my gut whatsoever, I would dial things back.
I just made sure I remained steady at my current intake or very, very gradually increased.
Over time, here are the goals that I wanted to achieve:
- Two doses of probiotics a day
- A massive serving of greens at every meal
- Regularity in the bowels
- No gut problems or discomfort
I had to be very careful not to go too fast, or I would be sent back to ground zero.
4. Add in fermented foods in the same manner as the probiotics and veggies.
The same with probiotics, I started out with just a half of a forkful of sauerkraut on a full stomach and progressed one baby step at a time.
The next day was another half a forkful.
If I felt good on day 3, I would up the serving to a forkful and ¾.
Other fermented foods that I think work well are kimchi, kombucha, and miso.
5. Add in bone broth for the cherry on top.
So, I was about a month into this process and feeling pretty good. I was eating a good portion of greens and a probiotic without too many issues.
The final cherry on top was when we decided to start making bone broth.
Bone broth, if you didn’t know:
- Helps heal digestive problems
- Enhances collagen and your skin
- Is known for providing a myriad of other benefits
And I have to say – something about the broth-y goodness really seemed to help me speed up the process.
I had it twice a day, every day, and I could tell it was working. Here are some great bone broth recipes if you are looking to try it!
It has made all the difference in my overall health.
I hope this story helps some of you heal your gut as well. I understand how discouraging and frustrating the process can be, believe me.
I am so passionate about gut health that we actually have our own probiotic here at Avocadu called Gut 13.
Our specially formulated probiotics supplement contains:
- Over 100 Million CFU’s Per Serving
- 13 Different Gut Healing Strains
- Delayed-Release for Deeper Support
- Made in the USA
You can read more about it and why it’s so important for not only gut health but overall health on our probiotics page.
Probiotics are one of the best solutions for healing your gut, helping you lose weight faster, and providing you with a healthy source of gut flora every day!
Leave us a comment below if you enjoyed this article on how I healed my gut and digestive issues or if have any questions!
P.S. Here are some additional resources that we have on healing your gut:
- 10 Warning Signs You Have an Unhealthy Gut and What to do About It
- How Gut Bacteria Affects the Brain and the Body
- 5 Steps to Fix Leaky Gut and Heal Autoimmune Problems
As you can see, we are VERY passionate about gut health here at Avocadu! 😉